‘The Office’: The Sweet Reason Phyllis Smith Starts Crying During an Interview With Brian Baumgartner

Brian Baumgartner played the lovable Kevin Malone on The Office comedy seriesNow, he’s the host of two podcasts wherein he interviews the cast of The Office. During a recent episode on The Office Deep Dive podcast, Baumgartner’s co-star and guest Phyllis Smith started crying. Discover the sweet reason why. 

Phyllis Smith and Brian Baumgartner on 'The Office'
Phyllis Smith and Brian Baumgartner | Chris Haston/NBC

Brian Baumgartner has 2 podcasts about ‘The Office’

Over the summer of 2020, Baumgartner gave The Office fans some high-quality throwback content. He introduced An Oral History of The Office — a podcast detailing the story of The Office. Baumgartner interviewed his fellow cast, writers, producers, and other behind-the-scenes members who made the show possible. 

With Baumgartner’s first podcast, his goal was to uncover why, after all these years, The Office remains one of the most-streamed shows. But in doing so, he also discovered how much interest fans have in hearing from The Office cast and crew. So, he created another podcast about The Office

In 2021, Baumgartner introduced The Office Deep Dive. This time, Baumgartner is giving fans an even deeper look inside the show. Every Tuesday, he releases another portion of the full-length interviews with the cast and crew of The Office

‘The Office’ cast interviewed on Brian Baumgartner’s podcast 

Every episode of An Oral History of The Office is available. Each episode features stories from several cast members, including Steve Carell, Jenna Fischer, and John Krasinski. Writers like Mike Schur and producers like Greg Daniels are also interviewed throughout those episodes. 

The Office Deep Dive took a different approach. Each episode features an in-depth interview with one of the show’s key members. So far, Baumgartner has released episodes featuring interviews with Daniels, Rainn Wilson, Fischer, Angela Kinsey, Ed Helms, co-creators Stephen Merchant and Ricky Gervais, producer Ben Silverman, NBC executive Kevin Reilly, director Ken Kwapis, casting director Allison Jones, and Smith. 

Phyllis Smith tearfully talks about the ‘family’ the cast of ‘The Office’ formed working on the show

Smith was initially a casting assistant for The Office. She worked closely with Jones while they were auditioning actors for the show. But when Kwapis heard Smith read lines, something about her energy felt right. Without auditioning, Smith was cast to play Phyllis Lapin Vance on The Office

As Baumgartner’s interview with her concluded, Smith broke down crying. “What was it all about for you?” he asked her.

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“We became family over the nine years,” Smith stated, getting emotional. “Nobody really knew each other, but we grew up together in a nine-year period.”

For someone with absolutely no acting experience, landing a spot on The Office was a total fluke for Smith. Since playing Phyllis on The Office, Smith has gone on to act in other shows like Netflix’s The OA and movies like Bad Teacher and Inside Out.  

For Smith and many Office fans, her being cast is one of the best things that could have happened to the series. “It was one of the best parts of my life,” Smith concluded tearfully. 

At this point, you can hear Smith crying happy tears in the background. Baumgartner understood the sentiment, as does the rest of The Office cast and crew.